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From 2010 to 2013, AOLC partnered with Comprehensive Community Solutions (CCS) to provide the Eco-Advocates program. Eco-Advocates was a part-time, year-round vocational preparatory program for young adults (ages 17-21) who are low-income and facing barriers to employment. The program combinds academics, training in green technology and urban agriculture, life skills, leadership development, and community service for as many as 20 young adults each year. Eco-Advocates was part of the broader Roots & Wings network. 


Participants developed and maintained urban growing space at Tinker Swiss Museum Cottage & Gardens and other locations throughout Rockford. They assisted other groups to design and maintain urban farming and green spaces and provided leadership and education to younger youth. In addition Eco-Advocates sold vegetables and value-added products at area farmer's markets, farm stands, and to restaurants in Rockford.